A.A.R.M. Q&A with David Rogers

Who played the adorable baby Phillip?

Is it “Beesly” or “Beesley”?

And what’s the heartfelt real story behind Jim’s card to Pam?

These questions answered and much, much more, in OfficeTally’s final Q&A (*sniff*) with the awesome director and editor of A.A.R.M., David Rogers.

David not only answers your questions but he goes super in-depth with lots of behind-the-scenes details!

Best. Q&A. Ever. Thank you, Dave!

David: Hey everybody! I’m so appreciative for all the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve been getting for A.A.R.M.! Thank you so much for watching and taking the time to write comments and ask questions. I’m gonna jump right in and answer two of the big ones right away.

Greg: During the intro to Jim’s CD, was “Beesly” intentionally misspelled as “Beesley”? Or was that just a mistake?

David: Pam’s last name is supposed to be spelled “Beesly.” That’s how Greg Daniels intended it to be. But I think once or twice early on it was misspelled as “Beesley”, at least in the scripts or press, and he felt we were stuck with that spelling. Even Dunderpedia: The Office Wiki has it spelled as Beesley!

But after I read the first comment pointing out that the spelling might be wrong, I went hunting for onscreen references. I found one outside their Wedding Rehearsal Dinner and it’s spelled Beesly. However Halpert is spelled as Halpret as a joke so I couldn’t be sure that Beesly was spelled right. But then in Business School, at her art show, her last name is on the wall as Beesly.

I am planning on changing the spelling for all future airs, syndication cuts, and on the DVDs and Blurays.

Grumpy Walrus: If my memory serves me correctly, didn’t the doctor specifically say Dwight was not the father? It was done in a way that I think would be hard for Angela to set that up.

David: The other big question is how is Dwight Phillip’s father when the DNA test said that he wasn’t? In Free Family Portrait Studio, Dwight pulled a diaper out of the bathroom and had the lab run a DNA test from that. But between Jim and Pam’s kids, and other babies and children from the building complex being there, it’s safe to say that there were other diapers in the trash and Dwight grabbed the wrong one. If Angela didn’t think the baby was or at least could possibly be Dwight’s, she never would have went off and chased after him and the diaper in the first place. And when the doctor tells them that the baby isn’t his, she does have a look of surprise.

We even had a line when Dwight brings Angela into his office to tell her that he thinks Phillip is a Schrute — he says, “It’s about Phillip. How do I put this… I still think there was some mix-up, or you gave the lab the wrong diaper, or lots of people can have the same DNA…”

And Angela also added a little something in the proposal scene, about Dwight maybe grabbing the wrong diaper after she told Dwight that Phillip was his son. But ultimately, we didn’t want viewers who weren’t familiar with what happened in Free Family Portrait Studio, to be confused and pulled out of the scene wondering what they were talking about.

Mathieu: My favorite shots in the episode were the one with Jim and Dwight! How much was improvised during those takes?

David: John and Rainn are incredible, in that they can really nail the scripted version of a scene by the second or third take, and then they start to play. As long as the key lines and moments are hit and the intent of the scene is clear, they will try different lines and physical actions to see if they can make the situation funnier and ultimately better. I will give a few examples of some of the improvisation that they came up with that were not in the original shooting draft.

33 comments

  1. Wow! Great Q&A! Thanks to David for taking the time to carefully answer so many questions, and thanks to Tanster for asking all of them!

  2. I love that John wrote a special note to Jenna!! I am so going to miss Jim and Pam!!

  3. John writing a special message in the card without Jenna knowing is a total Jim move….It’s like they really are a unit. I always thought they had a great chemistry together.

  4. Okay, and I’m a mess now after reading about John writing the note to Jenna that made her react like that! Absolutely the best Q & A ever – can we get a special edition box set of all 9 seasons with Dave doing audio commentary for every episode?!

    [ from tanster: i second that! ]

  5. Thank you, David, for answering these questions! So cool to know that you were “the voice”.

    John and Jenna are so freaking awesome. JAM has always reminded my husband and I of our relationship, he says I’m his Pam, but John and Jenna’s friendship is what makes their characters so…magical.

  6. Give it up for Stanley the Manly! LDB is the man for sitting through all the talking heads.

  7. The best Q&A ever! This was fascinating, fun to read and informative. I love how much care and thought and detail are put into these amazing episodes. I’m going to miss this show and all the talented people who work on it. Thank you David Rogers and Office Tally!

  8. Wow, that was amazing! Thank you, Dave Rogers. Incredible insight into the episode and how sweet was it that JK wrote a special note to JF in the card.

  9. Amazing Q&A. It really makes the episode that much better (and it was close to perfect to begin with).

  10. Wow, only John and Jenna know what’s in the card, that’s amazing!! It makes the scene even more potent.

  11. My unanswered question has always been… who is the father of Jan’s baby? It always seemed to me that she had some extra knowledge when she told people she went to the sperm bank. My theory is that Astrid is really Hunter’s, OR… Jan picked out Kevin from the sperm bank donor book.

  12. The information about the card made me happy. It’s like the hug and the “Thank you” was not only between Jim and Pam, but a genuine moment between John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer, which just makes it awesome.

  13. The one unanswered question I still have and don’t really expect to be resolved is whether Kevin is really the biological father of Astrid…

  14. Jan got an anonymous donation from a donor bank. The only way to know if Kevin was the father would be to do a genetic test with him….but why would Jan ever do that?! It wouldn’t make any sense to reveal a father.

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